Once you have a solid set of business objectives to work with, the next step is towards determining what to do in your business is to develop functional goals.
In order to develop your marketing objectives, you must review your business objectives and see how marketing can help make these business objectives happen. Depending on the business and its objectives, there may be more or less that marketing can do to help achieve the objectives. Whatever the business objectives are, you need to understand what marketing can do to make things happen. To get a better understanding of this, it might help to see the different types of marketing objectives that can exist.
WHAT KINDS OF MARKETING OBJECTIVES ARE THERE?
Just like business objectives, marketing objectives can be categorized into a several types. Because marketing is involved in almost every aspect of a business, you can find that marketing objectives can be extremely broad and wide-ranging. However, a few basic types can cover most of the marketing objectives that a standard business will require most of the time. Here are is a simple list of some of the most common marketing objective categories:
COMMON MARKETING OBJECTIVE CATEGORIES
- Maintain or Increase Market Share – To keep or increase a company’s percentage of an industry or market (in terms of units, such as revenue, order conversion rate, new customer accounts, market position, etc.)
- Develop New Products/Product Innovation – To create new products/services, create new customer experiences, or to meet innovation targets.
- Meet Customer Needs – To meet or exceed customer needs in the form of metrics such as customer service ratings, amount of repeat business, etc.
- Market Entry/Positioning – To achieve metrics in market entry (e.g. number of trial downloads of a new app, number of new customer entries within a time period).
- Gain Competitive Advantage – To achieve a measurable degree of advantage compared to competitors, e.g. reduced costs, increased efficiency, increased quality, increased brand recognition.
- Communication/Education – To communicate with a specific audience for the purpose of informing, educating, or motivating consumers.
- Market Research – To obtain relevant, valuable information about the business market space.
If you have clearly stated business objectives, it can be a relatively straightforward exercise to define marketing objectives that support the business by reviewing these categories.
IS IT REALLY THAT EASY?
Determining all the things that a business needs to do to be successful is not a simple task, otherwise all businesses would be successful. However, a strong understanding of your business and clearly stated business objectives can definitely point you in the right direction. For our situation, looking at marketing objectives, the question we must ask is what can marketing do to help achieve the business objectives.
Considering strictly business objectives and marketing objectives, let’s look at some simple examples of business objectives from the categories we identified and defined earlier. Imagine being part of a US-based retail clothing company that has the following four business objectives:
- PROFIT: “Increase domestic revenue by 15% within the next 4 quarters”
- SERVICE: “Become a customer service leader in the US Retail Clothing industry by 2014”
- GROWTH: “Introduce 2 new clothing lines into at least 1 new market by 2014”
Let’s start with the PROFIT objective “Increase domestic revenue by 15% within the next 4 quarters.” Looking at the categories of marketing objectives listed above, which marketing objective category does this PROFIT objective most closely map to? The business objective involves increasing revenue, so the best matching marketing objective category is “Maintain Or Increase Market Share,” based on its brief definition above. In fact, it is a direct match, the business objective can be achieved completely by marketing.
Now that we know the category, or type, of marketing objective we need, we can use the S.M.A.R.T. method to write a marketing objective that supports the business objective. Writing objectives is a bit of an art form in that it does require some level of creativity, but if you know what business objective you are matching, it should be much easier.
For the example above, an acceptable marketing objective could be as simple as a verbatim adoption of the business objective because it can completely be achieved by marketing activities:
“Increase domestic revenue by 15% within the next 4 quarters”
Now, you take a stab at writing marketing objectives for each of the two remaining business objectives (SERVICE and GROWTH). Remember to determine which category (or categories) or marketing objectives you may need to accomplish and then proceed to write. Don’t overthink this too much, just see what you can come up with quickly.